All In


Reviewed by: sukting

July 08, 2004

Rating: four

How long
24 episodes

Foreword
This is the serial that brought Byun Hun and Hae Gyo together as lovers but they parted recently. It is also the blockbuster of the year so can you afford to miss it?

Story

Ren He wins a lot of money at the Las Vegas casino. He is shot in the woods before he can reach the church to marry Zhu Yin. He recalls about the past. Since young, Ren He is brought up by his father’s friend, Zhi Xiu to be a gambler. He was a high school student when he meets her on a train. She detests him for stealing food and refuses to sit with him in the same train carriage. His 4 friends - Yong Tai, Tai Jun, Shi Feng and Shang Ju steal her belongings. Ren He finds the trinket and keeps it.

Zhu Yin finds her father, an impulsive gambler and stays with him in the cinema. Ren He saves her from some hooligans but she slaps him upon seeing the trinket on him. She knows that his friends have stolen her things but she forgives him. Ren He returns to high school and Zheng Yuan is his classmate.

Zheng Yuan’s father owns the cinema. Zheng Yuan is displeased to see Tu Huan beating up a subordinate. Cui tells his son to trust only himself as others will betray him any moment. Zheng Yuan often watches movies alone after screening hours. Zhu Yin’s father’s debtors come and both boys fend them off. Zheng Yuan has practiced taekwando since young but this is his first fight. Ren He replies that he dislikes outstanding men. Zheng Yuan smiles and isn’t offended.

Ren He tries to lead him astray by bringing him to gambling dens and brothels. But he and his gang has a bigger shock in store for them. Zheng Yuan does it better than them in 1 week. He even brings them to watch topless ‘live’ shows. Ren He and others nearly drop their jaws upon knowing that he is so daring. However, Zheng Yuan feels inferior as his father is from the underworld. In fact, he feels so humiliated when his father even kneels to Zhi Xi’s father, Xu to get a territory to manage.

The two become close friends. Zhu Yin’s father owes loan sharks a lot of money and Ren He gets Zhi Xiu to use his gambling skills to trick them of their money. In the end, their plan is discovered and Zhu Yin’s father is killed. Ren He gets his friends to seek revenge but Shi Feng walks with a limp later after his leg is injured. Zheng Yuan suggests burning the loan sharks’ hideout. However, the fire kills the big boss.

In order to save Zheng Yuan from being jailed, Cui pushes all the blame to Ren He. Ren He is jailed for 7 years. From then onwards, he refuses to see Zheng Yuan or Zhu Yin who want to visit him. It is his final year now and Zhu Yin is in a convent as a practicing nun. Zheng Yuan is overseas studying for a degree. He goes to a casino and recognizes Zhi Xi who is a dealer there. Ren He is in a cell with other prisoners. Many look down on him but Zong Qiu welcomes him upon knowing his crime. The others are in here because of petty crime of being thieves or robbers. It is unexpected that he likes a murderer because he finally finds someone who does a ‘big’ case!

Zheng Yuan is now in Las Vegas. He deliberately gets close to Zhi Xi and after winning, some feel that he is in cahoots with her since they are Koreans. He wants her to keep him company for a night with the $10,000 chip that he wins. He gets slapped instead but still remembers the harsh treatment when he was young. Ren He wonders why Zong Qiu is badly beaten and finds out he has lost a lot of money in gambling. He decides to help him out but telling him to get him cards to help him to train at night.

Zhu Yin requests to be with the older nuns to visit the prisoners. She plays the Beatles’ song on tape in the van. I really laugh at it. At first, some raise eyebrows but later some sway to the music. The nun driving taps her fingers on the steering wheel while the older nun taps her feet softly at the rear! They sing gospel songs to the prisoners and all are fascinated by her beauty.

Many may wonder why Ren He doesn’t get to see Zhu Yin. He chooses to listen to the chanting by a monk so he is with another group of prisoners. I really laugh non-stop when it comes to the confession period as prisoners are allowed to pour out their grievances to the nuns. All rush to queue in front of Zhu Yin to ask her questions! They lament on why she chooses to be a nun at such a young age. What is there to look forward to then? All are dumbstruck when she says she isn’t a nun. She is only an understudy and decides that she can’t keep to the strict vows so she is going to seek normal life.

One prisoner asks if he can love her. She replies that she can’t stop him but she warns him that whoever loves her can only receive sadness - just like what happens to her years ago. She decides to leave the orphanage and all children are unwilling to see her leave. One boy returns her the trinket that she thinks is missing. The kid has kept it and lied that it has gone missing because she wins him in a soccer game.

The prison guards allow gambling in the prison. Ren He is shocked to have to gamble with the murdered man’s younger brother, Dai Xiu. But he keeps his cool and wins over him for Shang Tou. But later, he has nightmares of being strangled to death by Dai Xiu. Zong Qiu gets released before him. Dai Xiu vows to seek revenge on him when he is out. Ren He declines to work for Shang Tou when both are out.

All his friends celebrate his release. Ren He comes to visit Zhu Yin at the church but she is no longer there. He has thought that she plays the piano and hurries to meet her. He is sad to find that Sister Mary is the one. He later misses her although they are at the entrance. Sister Mary finds him familiar looking and tells Zhu Yin. She laments missing the chance of looking at a man with captivating eyes. The nun is glad that she has not taken up nun hood as she loves men too much. She introduces her to work under Xu.

Xu is sore that Nun Mary is a nun and praises Zhu Yin for not burying her youth in the convent. He arranges her to work in his casino on Jeju island. (It still beats me how a nun can introduce this job though. But I guess it is still using rightful means to earn money.) Zhu Yin finds her training harsh. She isn’t able to complete counting the chips on time and aiming at the number she wants in the roulette. But she manages to pass the test as she is fluent in Japanese and English.

Tai Jun is a cop now. Ren He visits the nightclub that all the others are working and gets assaulted. He is slightly injured after being stabbed in the stomach. Tai Jun vows to arrest the culprit if he lays his hands on him. Can you believe it - before this he has demanded money from an arcade owner when he can’t win money from a jackpot machine? Zhi Xiu warns Ren He not to seek revenge as he is afraid that he will get jailed.

Ren Hao tells Tai Jun that he is injured by Dai Xiu’s man but dissuades him to seek revenge. He has promised Zhi Xiu that he will not return to jail again. It was stupid of him to run in the rain so he should look for shelter instead. He tells Zhi Xiu his decision to leave Seoul. Zhi Xiu supports his decision but wants him to stay away from cards. He has dreamed of getting rich but being a gambler all his life, he achieves nothing in the end.

Tu Huan hints to Shang Tou to kill Xu as he dominates the gambling circle with his casinos. Zhen Yuan meets Zhi Xi in UNLV - the university that he studies in. Both have chosen hotel management and have focused on the module of casino administration. She is a dealer part-time because she wants to experience life. He asks her out and talk about their past of most humiliating experiences.

Zhi Xi could not cry when her mother passed away when she was 12. She considered it most humiliating as others could. As for Zheng Yuan, he was still guilty over Ren He’s imprisonment. Another will be how Cui kneels in front of Xu. Zhi Xi later kisses him to make him forget his hatred. Zheng Yuan will be returning to Korea first and Zhi Xi gives him a chip for making her happy. He is amused.

Zheng Yuan returns home and still treats Cui coldly. He chooses to work in Xu’s Oasis group casino as a researcher consultant. Ren He arrives to meet Zong Qiu on Jiju island and is taken aback when he sees him in a limousine. Zong Qiu says that it is no big deal! They arrive at the casino and Zong Qiu is embarrassed when Manager Han reprimands him. Ren He looks at Zong Qiu sternly and demands to know what job he is really doing. When he steps into the casino, it is an eye opening experience. All along, he has only visited secretive gambling dens and he has never been to somewhere so open.

Zong Qiu recommends him to be a security guard like him. Ren He is hesitated over his past but Han assures him that he will get it as he is his guarantor. Zong Qiu requests Ren He to gamble but he turns him down, remembering his promise to Zhi Xiu. Zong Qiu is mad at him for not looking at him when he answers him! Ren He rushes to the orphanage after getting Tai Jun’s call. But he is disappointed when the nuns do not know where Zhu Yin is.

Zhu Yin comes to be a casino dealer but her colleagues look down on her. She even wears the wrong colour stockings to work. Zhi Xi is the only one friendly to her and they share a room. Mei Lan is the manager and tells her to relax on her first day. A professional gambler, Michael Zhang is here and he wins a lot from other casinos. Xu decides to let him play and go along with his request. Michael chooses Zhu Yin as he can see that she is a newcomer. He starts to win a lot of money and she gets nervous. So do the rest too.

Ren He finds the atmosphere tense as he steps into the security room. Zong Qiu laments that he has never seen a freak like Michael who is so composed in gambling different games with high stakes. He can feel that his heart is almost stopping just by looking at the screen and needs a breather. Xu knows that the casino has lost US$3b and wants to see the gambling personally. He is shocked to know that it is Zhu Yin’s first day and she is chosen to be the dealer. But still, there is nothing he can do.

Ren He looks at the screen and is astonished to see Zhu Yin. He hurries down and observes her from a corner. This is a memorable scene as we know how calm he normally is. In here, he is no longer in his usual self. He is so distraught that Mei Lan has to remind him to leave! Ren He is concerned and finds out from Zong Qiu that although the loss responsibility is not on her, she will still have a shock as the amount is a big sum. Han scolds Zhu Yin for not playing properly as he might get fired as her superior.

Now it is Zhu Yin’s turn to get distracted when she finally notices Ren He. He can’t rest his mind to appear in front of her again. Michael threatens that he will not continue the game after he has taken a break for 6 hours if Zhu Yin isn’t the dealer. During the break, Zhu Yin looks for Ren He and they finally see each other eye to eye. Zheng Yuan walks past her but both don’t notice each other.

Zong Qiu notices that Ren He behaves oddly in front of Zhu Yin. He declares that Ren He likes her so that is why he can never lift his head in front of her. He finally knows the feeling of shame. Ren He smiles at the dig. Ren He has a chat with Zhu Yin. He is thankful that she doesn’t become a nun. She is amused as someone else has told her the same thing. He confesses that he can never forget the music from the trinket.

Dai Xiu hits Ren He’s friends. Tai Jun wants to seek revenge but stops when Dai Xiu has evidence of him taking bribes. Zheng Yuan goes through the tapes to find out Michael’s weakness and finds Zhu Yin familiar looking. He is unable to find any although he refers to faxes from U.S. Zhu Yin looks at the trinket and smiles upon recalling the past. Zheng Yuan meets Zhi Xi and she says that she knows his presence immediately when her father’s secretary, Sun mentions to her. She jokes that Xu will not hand over his business to an incompetent daughter so she needs to work hard. Zheng Yuan promises to keep her identity from the rest.

Michael continues the game. He is going strong after winning US$3.6b. The management has a discussion. Zheng Yuan points out to Xu that if they turn him away now, words will get around and their reputation will be damaged. Xu agrees to let him continue. Ren He is worried and refuses to go for his duty break. He replays the tape on the earlier game and notices that his hands trembles when another dealer goes near.

Han passes the message to Zheng Yuan. He suggests letting Zhu Yin to use another cosmetic. And sure enough, Michael loses and leaves. Xu asks Zheng Yuan and he replies that he just makes a guess that Michael might be sensitive to the cosmetic smell. But he should not be able to sue them because the procedures of gambling are legal. Xu requests to see Ren He.

Ren He is stunned to see Zheng Yuan. Xu asks Ren He how he knows that Michael is losing. He replies that he knows right from the face. Since young, he has been following his gambler uncle and knows the state of mind. Xu finds out that he is an ex-convict and has only worked for a month.

Han tries to persuade Xu that he has potential. He is astonished that Xu makes Ren He a permanent staff. He scolds Ren He for bragging to be in jail to put him in a fix but he has decided to tell the truth. The two young guys smile at each other. Ren He assures Zheng Yuan that he has implicated him so he need not feel bad. Anyway, he is released early. But he warns him to stay away as he always gives him trouble.

Zheng Yuan says no as it is so difficult to see him. Moreover, he is now his superior. Ren He jokes that he should not to be cocky as he can quit anytime as temporary staff. Zheng Yuan wants to be the US casino owner, Steve Wynn. Ren He says he has no dream. Zhi Xiu may be a top gambler but he is poor all his life. Zheng Yuan teases him as he has only Zhu Yin in mind. Ren He reveals that she is also in the casino. Zheng Yuan searches his mind and exclaims that the dealer is the one!

Both return to work. Zhu Yin keeps on smiling and Ren He does the same as he watches her from the control room. This scene is sure funny when he enlarges the screen to observe her closely and hides his mouth from his colleagues to smile in secret. Zhu Yin is not that lucky. Mei Lan tells her not to smile like a fool.

Zheng Yuan returns home and is stunned to see Shang Tou. He finds out that Cui used to work for Xu and even went to jail because of him. That is why he is rich now and wants to take over everything he owns. Mrs Cui dissuades him from working for Xu but Zheng Yuan wants to learn from him. He doesn’t wish to be cruel to the weak to achieve success using his own methods.

Cui wants to compete with Xu to get Sea World hotel. He tells Zheng Yuan that he will have his own means to do it. Ren He and Zong Qiu returns to Seoul to meet Yong Jun and is stunned to know that his friends are badly beaten up. Both flee from Dai Xiu and Zhi Xiu tells Ren He angrily not to see him again. Ren He knows that he says it in a fit of fury and promises to return when things get calmer. Ren He apologises to all his friends. All call Zong Qiu ‘big brother’ since he was the head cellmate to take care of Ren He.

Xu puts Zheng Yuan in charge of a project. Shang Tou becomes the new boss of the nightclub. Zhi Xiu is relieved that he is not dismissed because of his age. Zhu Yin oversleeps and tells Zhi Xi that is why she can never become a nun. Xu decides to put Han in charge if he can get Sea World Hotel. He assigns Zhu Yin to guide Ren He all the rules of casino games in a week. Both don’t understand the arrangement.

Yong Jun has wanted to get bribes for Shi Feng to have a wife and Ren He to have a better life. But since Dai Xiu knows about it, he vows to get hold of him before he goes to jail. Zheng Yuan sees Dai Xiu with Shang Tou on the plane and recalls his father’s words. Zhu Yin doesn’t believe Ren He that he knows all the games just by looking at the screens in the control room. He is confident that he will not lose and wants the loser to do the bidding of the winner. And sure enough, soon, he rests his head on the table as they play blackjack and he almost wins all the chips! Byun Hun looks so cute in this scene to show how boring the game is!

Zhu Yin decides to switch to baccarat but he shakes his head. He has known everything just by watching or listening to others. Just by observing a few times, he can master a game and this is his only specialty. He is too shy to tell Mei Lan that he is a talented gambler. He holds her hand and wants to go out with her since she is the loser. They see the orphans. Sister Maria recalls seeing him at the church and also recognizes him as the youth who was taken away by the police at Zhu Yin’s father’s funeral. Zhu Yin relates that he may look cold and lonely but she warms him. And indeed, Ren He shows his warmth when he bathes the boys.

Ren He decides to buy a piece of land to build a house. He will give Zhu Yin a room then. She thinks that he will not make it since he is often involved in fights. Zhi Xi asks Zheng Yuan if he wants her to fulfill his dream to be like Steve Wynn. She will merge his wealth in exchange of his love for her. He smiles and doesn’t answer her but ponders over her words at home.

Zhi Xi asks Zhu Yin whether she likes Ren He. She has to be wary then as she has read a book. Ren He has very deep eyes so he will have a hard life to influence those around him. Zhu Yin thinks that she is right. The training is finally complete and Mei Lan is impressed with Ren He’s performance. Zheng Yuan comes to see the couple and is attracted by Zhu Yin’s smiles. He finally befriends her.

Han tells Xu that Ren He is young but excellent. Xu promotes him to be the pit boss. All are shocked and talk about it as this post needs 10 years experience but Ren He is only in the casino for a few months. Ren He is stunned upon hearing the news from Zong Qiu. Well, all should see his reaction as he looks that he has been struck. Ren He meets Zheng Yuan and Zheng Yuan tells him to treasure the chance. He doesn’t know Xu’s intention but Xu recognizes talent. Ren He considers it and agrees with him.

Shang Tou opposes to Dai Xiu beating Sea World hotel owner up to gain his shares. He tells him to watch the movie ‘Godfather’ to know the importance of brotherhood ties. Dai Xiu watches a scene where a horse is killed for extortion and he does the same. Indeed, he gets the shares and Zheng Yuan is annoyed when he fails in his attempt for Oasis. He gets drunk and confronts his father.

Zong Qiu is frightened upon seeing Dai Xiu and Shang Tou together. He informs Ren He but Ren He decides to end the dispute if Dai Xiu comes for him. He even tells Zong Qiu to calm down and both go to the gym to exercise. Zong Qiu never expects Ren He to be so outstanding. Ren He know that he gets the best cards of his life so he decides to stake his asserts in to get everything back.

This is Ren He’s first day as the pit boss. Unlike others, he has nothing to say and just tells the dealers to change their duties. His assistant is confused as others will ask over the staff’s health. Ren He asks if it is compulsory for him to say it. He says no and Ren He says that he really has nothing to tell them. All are amused as a pit boss doesn’t behave this way.

One colleague complains to Han angrily. He takes 7 years to be a pit boss after working as floor manager. How can Ren He be promoted so fast? Han tells him to give Ren He a month - he doubts that he can make it. Ren He overhears it but he is silent. This colleague tells Ren He sarcastically not to embarrass other pit bosses with his jailed past. Ren He still bows to him politely.

Zhi Xi’s table loses a lot of money and Zong Qiu alerts Ren He to change the dealer. Mei Lan is also worried after observing from the monitor. It surprises the two when Ren He informs them that it is not necessary as he observes her. Sure enough, the tables are turned later. Zong Qiu wonders how he knows that there will be a change of luck. He replies that it is through intuition. Zong Qiu is impressed.

Ren He gives Zhu Yin a shock by scaring her from the back. She teaches him Japanese and English but he hates studying. He obliges when she reminds him that the casino has tourists and a pit boss needs to know basic phrases. She jokes that she is like a princess teaching a dumb prince. He is amused but gets tired in the midst of the lesson. Zhi Xi is suspicious upon seeing Zhu Yin changing her overslept habit and is surprised to see her with Ren He strolling by the beach at dawn.

Dai Xiu calls Zhen Ai in to humiliate her and gets humiliated instead. Zhi Xiu wonders why Ren He has such a hard life. Many dealers find Ren He attractive although he is inexperienced. Zhu Yin’s senior, Zhi Ying is interested in Ren He but is annoyed when he only smiles to Zhu Yin. She scolds Zhu Yin for seducing him. Ren He wonders why he suddenly becomes childish when with Zhu Yin too.

Zhu Yin decides to give Ren He a test so he studies at night. Zong Qiu makes fun of him and does workout in order to impress the new MD who is taking over from Han and is Xu’s daughter. All are shocked to know that she is Zhi Xi the next day. Zhi Ying regrets ill treating her all the time. Zhi Xi has wanted to remain in the hostel but this will make the staff uneasy so she moves to the casino hotel.

Zhi Xi and others check the earnings for the month. All are appalled that Ren He earns the most. Mei Lan and Han find it surprising but knows he is natural in gambling. Zhi Xi didn’t understand Xu’s decision to promote Ren He but she knows now. She needs his caliber to achieve success and tells him to meet Xu in Seoul. Shang Tou wants Ren He to help him to gamble and tells Dai Xiu to forget his dispute with Ren He for the moment.

Ren He’s colleague tells him to watch out. If Ren He still does so well, he is forcing him to leave. Ren He is furious and beats him up. He warns him not to look down on ex-convicts. Sometimes, Ren He even scares himself so don’t ever offend him. He is late for Zhu Yin’s lessons and she is angry with him for failing a simple Japanese translation test. Is he only good at cards and not in studies? He seals her lips with a sudden kiss to give her a shock but this appeases her anger.

She gives Ren He her trinket as his birthday present. He is overjoyed as this is his first birthday present. She has gotten it from her late mother and has promised to give it to the man she loves. Zong Qiu and Ren He are shocked when Shang Tou comes to see them in the casino. He wants both to gamble with another player. If not, he will end their peaceful lives. Shang Tou wants to use the money won to buy casino shares.

Dai Xiu reminds Ren He that Tai Jun is still blackmailed by him. Han sees them together and reminds Zong Qiu that both will lose their jobs if there is trouble. Zong Qiu doesn’t mind losing his security guard job but Ren He should not lose his chance. Cui gets to know the coming gamble and wants Cheng Guo to stop it.

Three potential candidates are chosen to work as a marketing executive in the overseas casino and Zhu Yin is one of them. Her colleagues are jealous that they are not chosen but Mei Lan tells them that Zhu Yin knows Japanese and English. So she stands a higher chance. Zhu Yin tells Ren He the news and she relates that she is happy that he is sensible now, especially when all accept him as the pit boss. They should get to see his new house soon. He is concerned when she drinks a lot.

Thinking that she is drunk, he confesses that she may not know how happy he is to see her again, especially when she can recognize him. He really misses her and loves her deeply. But this doesn’t seem real. He is afraid that everything will disappear. Can an unlucky person like him be happy? He carries her on his back home. She suddenly asks if he means what he has said. He nods and she hugs him to give him assurance. Both smile to have a romantic moment together.

Zheng Yuan interviews Zhu Yin personally and is impressed with her fluent English learned from the missionary nuns overseas when she stayed in the church. After the interview, he jokes that he must treat her to lunch. If not, Ren He will scold him. Zhi Xi sees them together. Xu introduces Zhi Xi to Zheng Yuan, not knowing that they know each other. Zhi Xi decides not to tell Xu as she wants him to prove his own talents and she doesn’t know how he feels towards her.

Zheng Yuan recalls her words and tells her that her kiss doesn’t erase his unpleasant memory. There is still an unbridgeable gap between them. He reveals that he knows Zhu Yin a long time again when she asks him.
Ren He comes to visit his pals and also informs Shang Tou that he decides to work only this once for him. He expects him to keep his word. Zhi Xiu and Xuan Zi are touched when he buys thermal clothes for them.

Zhi Xiu smiles dreamily at Ren He’s name card - Oasis Corp Zhongmen Casino. This place is not a small gambling den but is legalized gambling business. Ren He is a manager there and he finally has a decent job. Unknown to him, Ren He is now frowning upon looking at the trinket. Xu is angry to know that Cui has 42% of Sea World shares and he refuses to give up. So he is going to turn his tax evasion evidence to the tax department. Zheng Yuan tells Cheng Guo to steal them.

Later, he burns the papers, laughing bitterly to himself that he is following his father’s footsteps. He then contacts Zhi Xi to tell him that he quits. He refuses to tell her the reason but says that she will know soon. Ren He buys a new trinket for Zhu Yin and bids her farewell reluctantly. She smiles and wonders how he knows she’s upset after she gives him the trinket. Zong Qiu asks Ren He whether he is nervous as he himself can’t sleep. He admits that he is at his wits’end.

They meet Shang Tou and Ren He looks at Zhu Yin’s photo on the trinket tenderly. Shang Tou warns them that they must win. Ren He decides to use Zhi Xiu’s tactic to gamble. Xu is furious when the Intelligence Unit knows of Zheng Yuan’s identity but allows him to work in his casino as they think he owes Cui a favour. Sun consoles him as the evidence of his wrongdoings is also burned. Zhi Xi is very upset and goes to Zhu Yin.

The gambler loses but is impressed with Ren He’s skills. Ren He refuses to see Shang Tou after winning 10 billion won for him. Later, the gambler is killed and all are shocked. Cui is the one who orders his men to kill him. Tai Jun is worried - the police finds the taping of the gambling session in the house. Thus they suspect that Ren He and Zong Qiu commit the murder. He asks them why they seek to cheat at cards. Plus their ex-convicts background, they are going to be jailed for 10 years. So it is best for them to lie low.

Han and Mei Lan decide to tell the rest that the two are on a business trip when they learn it from the police. Zhu Yin is worried when Ren He doesn’t return but has no answer. Yong Tai comes to visit the 2 men and is in tears. Why is Ren He so ill fated? Shang Tou wants Dai Xiu to kill them before the police find them. Zheng Yuan comes to the nightclub and recalls his happy moments with the guys.

Yong Tai recognizes him and learns of his resignation. He brings him to see the 2 men. Ren He confesses that he can’t take it. He should surrender than to be on the run. But he will rather die after staying in jail for 7 years. Since Zheng Yuan is so intellectual, can he tell him what to do? At this time, Dai Xiu arrives with his men to catch them. Ren He and the others flee when Tai Jun manages to arrive in time with his gun. Zheng Yuan decides to work in Sea World Casino for exchange in order to get Cui to transport the two overseas.

Ren He calls Zhu Yin and she wants him to be hardworking. If he is still as lazy, he will be last in class. He cries after hanging up the phone. They are transported overseas illegally. A Korean woman, Zhan Ni is supposed to find them a job but both are tricked. They are jobless and go on hunger for 2 days. They end up working at a petrol kiosk later. Still, the two men are contented to fill their stomach.

Mei Lan reveals the bad news to Zhu Yin. She stays at the orphanage during her day off and reveals her sorrow to Sister Mary. Why has she tried so hard to understand Ren He and yet he does this to her? Dai Xiu tries to find Ren He at the nightclub but gets to see Zhen Ai. He declares his love and kisses her, much to the annoyance of Yong Tai. Zhi Xiu asks Ren He’s friends but they really have no idea where he has gone too.

Some Mexican hooligans come to make trouble for Ren He. They refuse to pay for the petrol money but Ren He uses taekwando to drive them away and get the money. Zong Qiu is alarmed that he can still do this even the guys are armed. Later, the hooligans come with their big boss to confront them. Ren He calmly deals with them. These men are impressed and they finally acknowledge him as their teacher.

Zhan Ni is worried and rushes to see how they are. The two men look at her sternly - why does she cheat them in the first place? She then bursts into tears saying that it is not easy to survive in U.S. Ren He warns her not to cheat others again and become friends with her. Ren He teaches the Mexicans fighting skills upon seeing that they are loyal to him. Zheng Yuan becomes a director in the casino and Zhu Yin comes to find out whether Ren He has contacted him. He says that he hasn’t. She is unhappy over it.

Zhi Xi lets Zhu Yin to be in charge of some Japanese clients. She is disturbed to know that they are from the underworld. They are rowdy in the bus until their boss tells them to shut up to listen to her. It is Zhan Ni’s birthday and the guys celebrate at her home. They are then brought to gamble at the casino. Ren He stops after winning $600. Zong Qiu thinks that he is facing a group of morons and decides to continue.

Ren He has no choice but to stay on. One man accuses him of cheating and humiliates the Asians. Ren He can’t control his anger and gives him a beating. One VIP of the casino, Barkley says that Ren He is innocent and he is spared. Zong Qiu is caught for cheating and is sent to the police station. Mei Lan asks Zhu Yin whether the Japanese clients are difficult to deal with. She says that they are fun. They look uncouth but they are innocent. They are very gentlemanlike and give her lots of tips.

Zhi Xi tells Shu Yin to learn golf as she needs to entertain others in future. Sea World poaches Oasis staff. Zheng Yuan sees Zhen Yin at the golf club with the Japanese clients. He talks to her and the Japanese boss notices it. Zheng Yuan might not be able to help but hopes to share her troubles by being a good listener later. Zheng Yuan’s parents see them together and are curious. Cui notices that Zhu Yin is burdened with sorrow.

The Japanese boss proposes to Zhu Yin and she rejects him, saying that her love for her lover will never die. She later meets Zheng Yuan. She confesses that she drinks a lot with the Japanese earlier but misses Ren He instead. Will he propose to her? He has no guts. But she realizes that he had done it by offering to build the house for her. She cries and falls asleep. Zheng Yuan tugs her in bed in his Sea World casino room. She is uneasy the next day but he keeps her for breakfast. Zhi Xi is angry to know that Han is joining Sea World and they are losing their Taiwanese clients too. Zheng Yuan invites Zhu Yin to join them. They can sponsor her studies in America. She declines as she likes her present job.

Zhi Xi goes to see Zheng Yuan angrily and is mortified to see him sitting with Zhu Yin. Zhu Yin wants to leave but Zheng Yuan tells her to stay. Can’t Zhi Xi talk to him after breakfast? But Zhu Yin leaves hurriedly. Zhi Xi has dreamt to be with him but her dreams are dashed. She asks how long they are together. He replies that he is just Zhu Yin’s friend but she doesn’t believe him. She understands his intentions of joining Oasis because of their fathers. She will do the same if she is him. But he is despicable.

Zheng Yuan sees nothing wrong to be competitors. He will not only take one but will take 10 clients away from her! She is so angry that she gives him a slap. Secretary Sun is worried when many from the casino job hop and Zhi Xi may not be able to handle it. Xu tells him to give her more time. Otherwise, how is she going to be his successor? But Xu is adamant to see Cui to question him.

Tai Jun looks through the tape again and finds some suspects. Zong Qiu is going to be deported to Korea. Ren He has no choice but to agree to help Barkley to save him. Barkley's henchman, Zheng Jun Yi has no way to make them American citizens but promises to make their lives better. Ren He hits Zong Qiu hard when he is released. Why does he cheat when he knows that there are surveillance cameras? He replies that he can’t help it. The two find it suspicious about Barkley to stay in a big mansion and wonders what he lacks. Will they be asked to be murderers? But there is no way out for them now.

Sister Mary gets Zhu Yin an US scholarship. Ren He trains other bodyguards taekwando. Barkley gives him a gun to protect him at the casinos. Zong Qiu has always dreamt to be Chow Yun Fatt after watching his movies. Now he is like him. Jun Yi allows Ren He to meet Zhan Ni. She is worried sick over their disappearance and is relieved that they are okay.

Zhu Yin decides to quit and Zhi Xi fails to keep her. Zhi Xi is certain that Zheng Yuan loves Zhu Yin. Zheng Yuan tells Zhu Yin to forget Ren He to discontinue living in sorrow and heartaches. She is going to do that. When she tells him that she quits her job, he thinks that she is going to join Sea World. He is shocked to know her decision. He offers to give her a scholarship as he is concerned on how she is going to cope with the living expenditure there. But she is determined to be independent.

Ren He finally knows that Barkley is an underworld auction dealer. He kills others in order to sell the valuables to earn profits. Ren He is shocked to see Michael Zhang (alias Zhang Min Guo) at an auction. He is with his girlfriend, Leia Luo. She is a gambling expert in poker.

Barkley’s daughter, Lisa needs an interpreter to do research for her. Zhu Yin takes up the task and returns home with her. Ren He is shocked to see Zhu Yin when she becomes a Japanese language translator for Barkley. He is shattered that she avoids him. He tells her that he thinks it is the right thing to do to leave her instead of getting her involved in his messy life. He stays outside her hostel the whole day despite her rejection. But she is determined not to get herself hurt again.

Zheng Yuan calls Zhu Yin and detects a change in her voice. He tells her that he is coming to America for a business trip. He is going to San Francisco but will drop by Las Vegas. Does he need to get her anything? She replies no and runs out after finding that Ren He is out of her sight. She searches everywhere and sees the trinket on the beach. She finally finds him and hugs him. Both have a passionate kiss together.

Ren He returns to tell Zong Qiu the good news. Zong Qiu dreams of buying a house after marrying Zhan Ni. Ren He jokes that he can be his butler but does he want a maid - Zhu Yin who can do housework well? His only wish is to stay together with her. Zong Qiu is happy for him and both hug each other.

Xu discovers Zhong Wen’s profit decreasing and wants to buy in all shares on Jeju island. They have to sell their own shares to acquire new shares. Mei Lan works for 20 years and wishes to write a gambling book when retired. Zhi Xi finds it hard to run a casino like a lawful LA casino without political strings attached. She meets Zheng Yuan to talk about this dream but he disapproves because he will be at a disadvantage.

Zheng Yuan wants to buy over Xu’s shares and decides to give Patzmcos to Shang Tou to end their relationships once and for all. They are becoming obsolete and this may strengthen better ties with him in future in case they cross swords again. Ren He and Zhu Yin pose together to get a sketch. Zhen Ai goes to bed with Dai Xiu but refuses to marry him. Shang Tou is disturbed by Zheng Yuan although he gets Patzmcos. Cui is wary of Xu but Zheng Yuan is fearless to confront Xu openly.

Xuan Zi is angry that Zhen Ai mixes with Dai Xiu and confronts him. She is angry when he even asks for her consent to marry her. Ren He’s friends meet Zhen Ai and try to dissuade her to be with Dai Xiu. She laughs bitterly - she loves Ren He for 20 years but he never looks at her. What is wrong with her to be with someone who truly loves her? Tai Jun assures the rest that he has found clues to clear Ren He’s name.

Ren He asks Jun Yi what price he has to pay to leave Barkley. Jun Yi replies that he has him under surveillance all along so he can drop the idea. Seeing Ren He crushed, Zong Qiu consoles him. Cui wants to pair Zheng Yuan with a senator’s daughter but before he can raise the issue, Zheng Yuan tells his parents that he is going to introduce a woman to them when he is home. Zheng Yuan looks for MGM as his investors. Zhi Xi tells Sun that they must drop their plan to acquire shares as they lack funds.

Zhu Yin suggests going to Las Vegas for their occasion. Ren He smells a fish. Zhan Ni is disappointed when Zong Qiu tells her that Ren He is with Zhu Yin. The couple takes turns to drive and Ren He tries to steal a kiss from Zhu Yin when she is driving. Zheng Yuan buys a ring for Zhu Yin but is shattered to see the couple together. He avoids seeing them.

Ren He brings Zhu Yin to the same shop that Zheng Yuan has been to. She points at a ring but he is hesitant as he doesn’t have enough money. Zhu Yin calls out to Zheng Yuan. The three have dinner together and Zheng Yuan is tormented upon seeing Zhu Yin feeding Ren He prawns. The guys have a talk. Zheng Yuan wants him to promise not to cause her any more pain. He is so devastated that he drinks in the hotel room.

Ren He and Zhu Yin go to a chalet. He tells her that she needs to give up a lot of things for him to lead a hard life with him. Both then sleep together. (I don’t see the fuss over this scene as I only see them sharing a kiss in bed and it ends when Ren He unbuttons two buttons from her blouse. Maybe it is cut in the television version - I am not so sure about that.) He promises not to give her pain or leave her again.

Both decide to get married the next day but he is suddenly asked by Barkley to get a necklace. He completes his mission to leave secretly but he makes a detour upon seeing Barkley’s enemies returning. Ren He gets shot and Zhu Yin weeps when he doesn’t turn up at the church. She is helpless and seeks Zheng Yuan’s help. Zong Qiu cries over Ren He’s death and blames Jun Yi for not letting him go.

Zheng Yuan informs Zhu Yin about Barkley’s confrontation with the Vietnamese triad. Even the police can’t touch them so they are unable to verify Ren He’s death. Zhu Yin collapses but still wants to see his body to affirm his death. Zheng Yuan kneels beside her to give her a reassuring hug. It is a very sad scene when he is so upset that she cries for another man. Zheng Yuan manages to get MGM’s help to build a 5000 room hotel on the land that Cui has bought.

Zhi Xi is annoyed over the headhunt incidents. She tells all dealers that they are promised to be managers in the small casinos but given the small market size, she doubt they can go far. She meets Zheng Yuan and finds him more desolate than the dark valley in the States. Maybe him kneeling down will make her happy just like what Cui has done in front of Xu. He smiles and says that she might be the first to kneel to annoy her.

Zheng Yuan doesn’t get to see Zhu Yin even though he visits her a few times. He asks Sister Mary whether they should send her to the hospital but she believes that she can go through this alone. Zhu Yin breaks into tears when she thinks of the happy times that she shares with Ren He. Zheng Yuan starts buying in Zhong Wen’s shares. Cui is happy that he surpasses Xu now, without knowing what has happened to Oasis.

Mrs Cui tells Zheng Yuan about Cui’s decision to pair him with a MP’s daughter. He replies that he isn’t ready to introduce his girlfriend to them but since they are getting along fine now, he doesn’t want to be in conflict and wants his mother to reject it for him. Tai Jun comes to inform him that he suspects of Cui’s henchman, Liang Zheng Cuo of harming Ren He.

Zong Qiu discovers that Ren He is in a coma and has little chance of recovery. Xu is shocked that Cui buys his casino’s shares. Ren He wakes up after 8 months and wants to look for Zhu Yin. However, he is so weak. Zong Qiu grabs him from the back and tells him that she has already left. He tells him to accept the fact and rest. He still thinks of her waiting for him and visits the church when he is better. Only when he finds her no longer there that he finally kneels and breaks into tears. This is a very sad scene that all should not miss.

Zong Qiu says Zheng Yuan and Zhu Yin think that he is dead to bury the past. Ren He decides to leave Barley as he has lost the most important thing in his life. He misses her so much that he gambles away all the money that Barley gives him. Ren He calls Zheng Yuan and he is shocked that he is still alive. Zheng Yuan tells him to forget Zhu Yin and let it be over between them. He knows what happens to him and although it sounds cruel, he isn’t qualified to love her. If he causes more pain to her, he will never forgive her. He hangs up the phone before Zheng Yuan can talk further.

Zheng Yuan meets Zhu Yin. Zhan Ni sees Ren He drunk and drags him home to enjoy her cooking. He works as a fishmonger with Zong Qiu. He recalls Zhu Yin saying that he is only good in gambling and decides to sink into it again. Zhi Xi is desperate when all shareholders refuse to see her and decide to support Cui instead. Zheng Yuan tells her that she is doomed. Zhan Ni gets an expert to teach Ren He and Zong Qiu poker. Zong Qiu jokes that he has never read a book all his life but still read the books on gambling techniques. Ren He stands at a cliff with the trinket, recalling his past with Zhu Yin. He decides to pick himself up again.

Zhi Xi doesn't wish to give up looking for more shareholders and goes to America. She is shocked to see Ren He winning a gambling game on television. Zheng Yuan becomes Zhong Wen's GM. He has known all along that the Xus are not allowed to buy new shares since they are already monopolising the market. Xu has fallen into their trap as he wastes his money to bribe the authorities for nothing. Zhu Yin has intially declined to work in a casino as this brings her memories of Ren He. But when Zheng Yuan seeks her help to manage a hotel on Jeju island, she agrees to help. To forget the past, she cuts her hair shorter.

Zhu Yin gives Zheng Yuan a proposal on using a volcano show to attract customers. Zheng Yuan tells her to go along with any idea she has since he has put her in charge. He then brings her out to a golf course, indicating that he has added her in his dream. He will wait till Ren He disappears from her heart. Ren He passes the shop and recalls seeing the ring that Zhu Yin likes. He buys it and suddenly, Leia wants to bring him to see Ming Guo. Ming Guo tells Ren He his route of success - that is to give all in.

Zhi Xi returns to Korea and decides to improve on Zhong Wen's food to attract customers. Mei Lan tells her about Zhu Yin's new post. Without the authority of the GM, it is impossible to be in charge at such a young age. She persuades her in vain to work for her and thus tells her that she has seen Ren He in the US. Zhu Yin is taken aback and questions Zheng Yuan. He is stunned and cites that it is impossible. But in the meantime, he asks his men to track down Ren He's address.

Mrs Cui finds out of Zheng Yuan's likeness towards Zhu Yin and reminds him that Cui will never agree o it. She tells him to reconsider his choice. Ming Guo is in the casino and all get nervous when he wants to meet Cui. Ming Guo wants to go into partnership with Cui and he decides to think over. Shang Tou wants Dai Xiu to get rid of Tai Jun. Tai Jun is alert and escapes the ordeal.

Leia asks Ren He on the plane whether he has been to Japan. Ren He wears his shades and ignores her as they are transferring flights. They return to Korea. Ming Guo reminds Ren He that he is playing against the rich soon so he has to be classy to have adequate etiquette. Does he know how to play golf, appraise wine or know what to order in a high-class restaurant? Ren He asks doubtfully whether it is necessary.

Ming Guo has stacked his life on the game so these are the basic rules. Cui checks Ming Guo's background. He went to US during his high school days and was the president of the student's union of Washington University. After his graduation, he earned many opportunities to build his wealth. But he has also offended the Korean government so he can't do business legally in Korea. After knowing this, Cui decides to turn him down to avoid trouble. Xu is interested to approach him and wants Zhi Xi to find out more about him.

Leia teaches Ren He to appraise different wine while another trainer teaches him table manners and golf. Zheng Yuan confirms that Ren He is the international poker champion in the US but no one knows his whereabouts now. Zheng Yuan lies to Zhu Yin that he has no news and Zhi Xi must have made a mistake. She rejects to go out with him and he knows that he needs to wait for a long time for her.

Zheng Yuan decides to attract China tourists. He gives Zhu Yin flowers but she rejects his love. She can’t handle another relationship as her heart dies with Ren He gone. Tai Jun is assaulted and Ren He sends him to hospital after defeating them. He tells Shang Ju not to keep from the others. Shang Ju informs him of Tai Jun’s finding of Cui being involved in the killing. Ming Guo reprimands Ren He for going out.

Ren He claims that he is different from Ming Guo. Ming Guo wants to accumulate wealth but he wants to win people. He stakes his life to give others a better life to repay their kindness. He also wishes that they will acknowledge him soon. Ren He will comply with him but he must stay out of his gamble. Ming Guo exclaims to Leia that he has chosen a perfect person.

Zheng Yuan worries upon hearing that Tai Jun is hurt. Cheng Guo admits the killing to him - that is to protect Zheng Yuan and Cui. He is pleased when Zheng Yuan now becomes like his father, afraid that Tai Jun will wake up to reopen the case. Zheng Yuan meets his future wife with his parents. Ming Guo gets Ren He a new wardrobe and Leia is attracted to him now.

The board is happy with Zhu Yin's proposal and all go for a drink. After the singing session, she asks Zheng Yuan whether he has sent her a pot of flowers. He denies and she wonders who the person is. It is by Ren He and Ming Guo shows him the place where the 3 trillion gambling is going to take place.

Ren He is success in appraising wine now. Leia tries to seduce him. This scene is steamy than the so-called bed scene although she doesn't undress because the actress does it well. She removes her shawl and unbuttons his first 2 buttons of his shirt to put her hand on his chest. Ren He holds her hand gently and whispers into her ear that he is not in the mood for such games before walking away. Leia isn't offended but smiles instead.

Ren He and others look through the map on where to build a resort with a hotel on it. He recalls the house promise to Zhu Yin. Xu decides to work with Ming Guo since Ming Guo can't do legal business after offending the Korean government. They don't know that MP Zhao is interested to hand it over to Cui. Zheng Yuan tells Cui now that he opposes the marriage arrangement with Zhao because he likes someone else.

Cui is angry to know that she is Zhu Yin. Mrs Cui reminds him that she comes from a low status too. She doesn't like Zhao's daughter, Li Min for being ambitious in wanting to manage a hotel. Cui finds nothing wrong with that as Mrs Cui is too traditional. Ren He goes to see Zhu Yin secretly at the church but leaves when a child recognises him. Zhu Yin is disappointed when she sees no one.

Ren He goes jogging with Zong Qiu and suddenly feels a sharp pain on his chest. Zong Qiu quickly stops but he assures that he is okay. He wonders why Ren He still feels inferior to face Zhu Yin since he is rich now as a professional gambler and is no longer with the triad. He says that he still can't put his head high in front of her. Both have breakfast together and Zong Qiu exclaims that he has disliked burgers when Zhan Ni tricked them of their money in the US. Yet he has grown to love bread. To Ren He, he still dislikes it. Zong Qiu asks if they should get a maid but Ren He says no. He teases him as he knows that he loves Zhan Ni.

Upon knowing that Tai Jun is safe, he rushes to visit him. All the friends are reunited. The scenes are warming as they show the closeness between them. They are puzzled when he wants them to address him as Jimmy. He still doesn't want others to know that he is back. Zhu Yin waters the pot of flowers and wonder who sends them. One colleague jokes that it can be from her ex-boyfriend but she smiles bitterly.

Zheng Yuan is drunk and tells Zhu Yin that he has waited for her in vain for 7 years. Although he longs to be away from Cui, he is still under his control. If she still rejects him, he will have to accept Li Min to be a despicable person. Zhu Yin feels that he is pitiful upon seeing his sleeping face. Ren He holds the trinket in his hand and misses Zhu Yin. Suddenly, he feels a sharp pain in his chest and drops it. He quickly gulps some painkillers but his left hand is still trembling and he feels terrible.

Zheng Yuan buys dinner for Zhu Yin's team and gives her the ring. She rejects but he tells her to get rid of it on her own. She is sad recalling how Ren He tries to buy it in vain for her. Li Min gives Zheng Yuan the land information and asks what he can give her in return - does he want to be her man? He agrees. Ren He happens to be in the same restaurant with Zong Qiu and is stunned to see the two together. He recalls that he should be close to Zhu Yin as stated by rumours.

Tai Jun is discharged and Zheng Yuan wants Cheng Guo to get rid of him. He also wants him to check on Zhao to see what he can use against him in future. Cheng Guo is surprised - aren't they becoming in-laws? Zheng Yuan states that he is only a business tool to him and wants to blackmail him in future. The foreign investors are willing to work with Ren He. Zhi Xi wonders who this Jimmy Jin is so she goes to meet him with Mei Lan. Both are shocked to see him.

Ren He starts to buy the land near the church to build a house. It is difficult to get the permit so Sister Mary wonders who gets it. Zhu Yin buys flowers for Ren He's 'death anniversary' and promises to let go now. Mei Lan realises why Xu promoted Ren He as pit boss as he is capable. The guys bring Zhi Xiu to see his future house that Ren He has bought for him and he thinks that he is dreaming!

Dai Xiu doesn’t know that Ren He is in the same lift as him. He is shocked that he is alive and gets badly beaten up. Ming Guo's man warns Ren He after saving him that he will tell Ming Guo if he continues like this. Ren He says he can go ahead since he has staked his life. He suddenly gets off the car and promises to return after 2 days. Tai Jun is too bored after his discharge from hospital and drinks with Ren He.

He starts to suspect that he has met Zheng Yuan earlier to tell him his doubts on Cheng Guo. He should not have done it as he is Cui's son. Moreover, he frames Ren He to be jailed for 7 years. Now he finds it fishy that he helps Zong Qiu and Ren He to escape to the U.S. He must been having a motive for doing it. Ren He finds nothing wrong as they belong to different worlds. Zong Qiu meets Shang Tou and he freezes for the moment. But instead of being afraid of him as in the past, he beats him hard badly in the toilet cubicle.(I love this scene although he doesn't show how but he flings his tall body high in the air !) He tells Ren He to be careful since he has blown his cover. Poor Shang Tou has to be helped out by his subordinates.

Zheng Yuan is uneasy upon knowing that both guys return to Korea so he grants Zhu Yin leave after the volcano presentation. Is she still thinking of him? She intends not to anymore since she sends him off and he is relieved. Zhi Xi tells Ren He that Zheng Yuan is despicable to lie to Zhu Yin that he is dead. Does he know that Zheng Yuan loves Zhu Yin and is becoming selfish? He should look for her since he has a chance. Ren He hesitates upon recalling Zheng Yuan telling him that he is not fit to love her.

Zheng Yuan invites Zhi Xi to the volcano show but she doesn't intend to go at first. Later, she changes her mind and asks Ren He to go. He replies that he will appear before Zhu Yin at the right time. Zhu Yin makes the introduction and is dumbfounded when she spots Ren He in the crowd. But Ren He still avoids to be seen by her ( Stupid man - I nearly curse him!) and gets seen by Zheng Yuan instead. Zheng Yuan is alarmed and there is hatred in his eyes. Zhi Xi comments that she is right to come and praises Zhu Yin for doing well.

Zhen Yin is distracted after seeing Ren He and rejects Zheng Yuan's suggestion to have a drink celebration in his room. The Cuis praise Zhu Yin for doing well but Cui doesn't look happy. Dai Xiu takes over Shang Tou's territory and he has to be on the run. Zong Qiu meets Ren He's friends. They are surprised that Ren He gets to meet the councilman now. Zong Qiu puts them in charge of dealing with another land purchase deal to build a golf course and they work hard. I really laugh at their dialogue - Zong Qiu comments that they look smart in their suits but Jun Yong says that is because they borrow them!

Zhu Yin looks at the marriage dolls at a shop and Zheng Yuan follows her. He asks what she will do if Ren He is alive. He keeps stressing that both are ill-starred but she replies that she still loves him. But she fears to plaque him with misfortune so she can't bring herself to be with him. Zheng Yuan tells his parents that he decides to marry Zhu Yin. Cui chides him of disregarding the project. Zheng Yuan announces that Zhao's political life is about to end so he should choose who to marry.

Ren He is preoccupied with Zhu Yin when the group is having a discussion. Zhan Ni is shocked to know that the lovers have not met up so Zong Qiu decides he should approach Zhu Yin one day on his behalf. Ren He tells Ming Guo that they have to be aggressive since they have staked everything. Ren He buys Han Lo Hotel and leaves Zhi Xi to manage it together with the casino since he knows nothing about management. Cheng Guo thinks of Dai Xiu as a hooligan and never expects him to betray Shang Tou. Zheng Yuan wants him to help both men as he might need their help in future.

Ren He gets to know what has happened to Shang Tou from Tai Jun. Li Min tells Zheng Yuan about his closest contender - who is Jimmy Jin. He becomes wary and calls Zhi Xi but she doesn't tell him anything. She senses that he is nervous about his identity although they only know the purchase deal. Cheng Guo assures Cui that Zheng Yuan makes the right judgment about Zhao. Cui then asks Zhu Yin whether she can assist Zheng Yuan forever. His impression changes now but she doesn't answer him.

Zheng Yuan is shocked to know about the meeting and runs to meet his parents. He is overjoyed to learn from Mrs Cui that Cui seems to like Zhu Yin now. All barriers that keep him away from her are gone and all that is missing is her acceptance. He hugs her and she feels lost. Sister Mary tries to be a matchmaker but Zhu Yin declines, saying that she has a boyfriend.

Zheng Yuan is nervous as he waits for the presentation result. He is shocked to know that Jimmy Jin and Oasis Corp gets the two deals - the Hanluo hotel and the golf course. On the other hand, the guys congratulate each other for the success. They meet Zheng Yuan at the escalator area. Zheng Yuan is stunned to see them and also when Zhi Xi is happy to get back at him by telling him that Jimmy Jin is Ren He. Cui knows about the result and is angry that Zheng Yuan had let Ren He off years ago to flee to the U.S. to affect them now.

Ren He knows his presence frightens Zheng Yuan while he himself finds his experience unbelievable. He has nothing to lose since he has no fear. He refuses to tell Zheng Yuan who his backer is when he suspects Barkley. His dream to build a house to stay with Zhu Yin seems difficult to achieve. Zheng Yuan chides him for caring about himself to bring misery to those around him. Is he going to do it again by returning to Korea? Ren He knows he isn't qualified to love Zhu Yin but is Zheng Yuan his friend? Zheng Yuan leaves as he is guilty for lying to Zhu Yin. He sheds tears when driving away while Ren He weeps too.

Leia waits for Ren He to return and applies lipstick slowly. This woman is sure sexy! Ren He is back but opens another bottle of XO to drink. She congratulates him but he doesn't think he wins as he is still empty-handed. He touches Leia's face and tells her to keep up the seduction. He might be attracted to her for the night. He kisses her forehead and her lips but she suddenly retracts. She wants him not to give up easily and leaves. Ren He frowns and is in despair.

Tai Jun follows Cheng Guo and finds him with Dai Xiu so he informs Ren He. Jian Guo bribes Dai Xiu. Xu encourages Ren He to give his best shot in business. Leia is impressed by the size of Ren He's office and gets to see the trinket. She asks if the woman in the photograph is his girlfriend. He admits in silence. Zhi Xi arranges Zhu Yin to meet her in Hanluo hotel and she is stunned to see Ren He with Leia. She is in a bigger shock when knowing that the hotel belongs to him. Zhu Yin doesn't wish to give him disasters again. The total time together between them is only less than a year so she doesn't wish to recall sad memories.

Zhi Xi tells Ren He that Zhu Yin is aware of his presence. She gives each other's namecards to the couple. Zhi Xiu asks Xuan Zi to stay with him as she doens't collect rent from him for the past 20 years. Ren He's friends gasp in horror upon knowing that Zhen Ai is going to marry Dai Xiu. Ren He and Zong Qiu supervise the house construction. They see Zhu Yin coming out of the orphanage to return to work. Zong Qiu wonders if she knows that Ren He is building the house for her.

Zhu Yin meets Zheng Yuan and returns to her office to get some files. Ren He calls her handphone and cuts the line when Zheng Yuan answers on her behalf. Zhu Yin recognises the number and becomes hesitant. She returns to work while Zheng Yuan recalls her uneasy expression. He remembers the number and calls back. He is shocked to hear Ren He's voice and it becomes his turn to hang up. Excellent acting from the actors! The next call is by Zhu Yin to invite him out. Zheng Yuan walks to his car and sees Zhu Yin in Ren He's car so he follows them to Hanluo hotel. Ren He places his coat on her and Zheng Yuan observes from far.

Zhu Yin asks why Ren He calls her. It will not change anything even if he apologises. He doesn't have to feel sorry and torment himelf over her because she will get over him. She loves him till her death but their love is impossible. If he dies, she will curse herself. Knowing that he is still alive is enough for her. She returns the coat to him and leaves. Both are in tears. Zheng Yuan tells her that he knows of their meeting. He can't guess her true feelings. Where does he stand - doesn't he have a place in her heart?

Her reply is - If Zheng Yuan gets too close, she will retreat. She hopes to maintain the present relationship as she lieks the job. She doesn't wish to quit. He can't do it as she is right before him. He will not allow her to get away. Ming Guo wants to meet Ren He at the hotel. Jun Yi is with him - Barkley is involved in the project too but the 2 guys are still unaware. Ren He is back in office with Zong Qiu and both are attacked by Dai Xiu's men. Be impressed by Byun Hyun's skills to show off again!

However, both are outnumbered. Jun Yi comes in time with a golf set and hits the men....also with style to drive them away! Both are surprised to see him. Jun Yi gives Zong Qiu a warm handshake but gives Ren He a warm hug. He feels sorry to cause Ren He to lose his lover but he dismisses it. Ming Guo knows what happened and he wants to settle for them the next time as Ren He refuses his help now. Leia is disturbed that Ming Guo seeks help from Barkley. Ming Guo has no choice as he doesn't have enough funds.

Ren He is exhausted so he lies on the sofa. Zong Qiu understands how Ming Guo feels. It will be bad if he loses all his players. Ren He wants to have a showdown but he still has to wait for his uncle to come. He wants to treat him like a king after giving him so much trouble. Zong Qiu is curious how he is doing it. Cheng Guo informs Zheng Yuan that Dai Xiu has failed so he will handle it personally. Zheng Yuan wants to know what he will do if he fails. He will kill himself since Zheng Yuan doesn't trust him. Zhu Yin returns from work and sees the trinket sent to her by Ren He so she weeps.

Dai Xiu promises Xuan Zi that he will take care of Zhen Ai. Zhen Ai agrees to Zhi Xiu marrying Xuan Zi. She tells Tai Jun that she has wanted to spite at Ren He to be with Dai Xiu at first but she loves him now. She will try to settle the dispute between the two men. The old couple is really treated like royalties at Hanluo hotel. They are in tears when they see Ren He.

Both men drink wine and Ren He recalls making the promise that he will return everything at one shot. He asks about his father. Zhi Xiu is furious - Old Lee whiled his life away, ditches his mother and dies in a foreign land after losing everything in a gamble. When Ren He was young, he wonders whether he'll end up like him. He wants Ren He to promise him not to follow his footsteps. Ren He is evasive over this issue.

Zhao wants to pick the marriage date. Li Min wants Zhu Yin to assist her after she marries Zheng Yuan. Zhen Yuan tries to tell Zhu Yin from getting the wrong idea but she says that both are compatible. He gets disillusioned. Ren He gives an English presentation to the foreigners on Hanluo hotel. Zheng Yuan suspects that Ming Guo's funds are from a dubious source. Zong Qiu thinks so too as the investments is still short of $30m even with the investors' help.

He suspects that the funds come from Barkley since Jun Yi is here. Ren He and Zong Qiu meet Tai Jun. Zong Qiu boasts of killing many in America so Dai Xiu is no longer a threat to him. Ren He wants to get rid of him as he is disturbing him to play a major game. He is baffled to know that Zhen Ai is marrying Dai Xiu. The old couple are in tears when the married young kneel in front of them through the ceremony, really treating them as their parents. Ren He comes with his friends and warn Dai Xiu to take care of his beloved younger sister.

When the married couple is out, Dai Xiu is stabbed to death by Shang Tou's men. Ren He is in the office when he suddenly feels a sharp pain in his lung and faints. He has been working non-stop for 3 days and can't take it anymore. Zhu Yin is surveying Hanluo hotel at this time while Zhan Ni and Zong Qiu wants to have a meeting with Ren He. They are stunned to see him unconscious on the ground and rush to send him to hospital. Zhu Yin is stunned to see him being sent to hospital.

The doctor diagnoses that Ren He had a gun wound before so part of his lung is removed. This causes abnormal functioning and develops pneumonia. His life is in danger since he faints due to low blood pressure because of lung bleeding and high fever. Zong Qiu and Zhan Ni are devastated by the news. Ming Guo and Zhi Xi are worried as the investors are coming the second time. Ming Guo balmes his bodyguard for not being able to detect Ren He's early symptoms for being ill. He wants to find someone to replace Ren He. Leia is so fed up with him for disregarding Ren He's safety and walks away. He suspects that both have an affair.

Zong Qiu and Zhan Ni take care of Ren He so Mei Lan and Zhi Xi prepare the proposals. Zhu Yin meets Zhi Xi and is saddened by the news. She cries in front of Sister Mary and falls sick. She insists of visiting Ren He although unwell. Zheng Yuan is concerned upon knowing she is ill and comes to visit her. He is astonished to know that she isn't there. Zong Qiu and Zhan Ni are shocked to see Zhu Yin. Zhu Yin sobs and regrets her act. She is selfish to care for herself because of a love that hurts too much. The two become teary too.

Zheng Yuan drinks in despair. He knows however hard he tries is futile. It is laughable to say this to Zhu Yin when Ren He is in a coma. He has never felt that useless and pathetic upon knowing from Sister Mary the other day that she visits Ren He. He decides not to pressure her anymore. Zhi Xi and Zheng Yuan vow to compete over the deal. Ren He finally wakes up so Zong Qiu and Zhan Ni are relieved.

Zong Qiu's reaction is classic. He is too exhausted that he sleeps on a sofa outside Ren He's room. When Zhan Ni wakes him up to tell him the good news, he still asks in a confused tone on what has happened! When he realises that his good buddy is out of danger, he springs up and rushes to see him!

Ren He wants to meet Zhi Xi to be updated on the on-goings. Zong Qiu is concerned - has he rested enough - he doesn't wish him to overexert himself. He assures him that he will have plenty of rest after this is over. What does he mean? Ren He discusses with him - both below to the lower class and they are unsuitable to be businessmen. Zong Qiu agrees too and informs him about Zhu Yin's visit. He urges him to see her.

Ren He drives to the house on his own despite Ming Guo's bodyguard's protest since he hasn't recovered. He is glad to see that it is fine and calls Zhu Yin. She isn't there to answer his call. Zhao leads in the election so Cui decides to prepare for their children's wedding. He coaxs Mrs Cui to break Zheng Yuan and Zhu Yin up but she refuses. Cheng Guo threatens Ren He to retreat from the presentation. Ren He realises that whenever he has misfortune, Cheng Guo is there. Both are the bane of each other's existence.

Cheng Guo admits sending Dai Xiu to assassinate him. It is easier to get rid of Zhu Yin than eliminating him when the woman he loves is so near to him. Ren He is so alarmed that he drives to Sea World immediately. Another classic scene is here - he demands her to come with him although Zhu Yin is with the others. When Zheng Yuan tries to stop him, he gives him a punch on his face! So hard that he falls onto the ground. Splendid acting from the actors when Ren He shows his anger while Zheng Yuan deals with it calmly.

Ren He wants Zhu Yin to resign. Zheng Yuan recalls Cheng Guo's words and realises what has happened. He reprimands Cheng Guo to make things complicated. Cheng Guo rebukes him for not stopping him to kill Ren He the last time. Zheng Yuan is speechless. For her safety, he tells Zhu Yin to leave. It is so sad that he is reluctant to let her leave and has to hide at a corner, seeing her leaving with her stuffs.

Tai Jun informs Ren He and Zong Qiu that they can go to Prosecution Department to surrender themselves. He is worried that both may end up arrested. But both feel that if they don't settle the murder case, it will wear on them forever. They hope to clear their names. Zhu Yin is shocked to learn this from Zhan Ni. Zhan Ni also tells her that Ren He doesn't dare to look for her because of his chest scar. Whenever it hurts, it reminds him of the broken promise. She is the only one who can ease his guilt. Ming Guo is furious when both go missing and they switch off their handphones at this crucial point.

Tai Jun waits outside anxiously and is glad when both are out. The charges against them are dropped and the murder case is reopened. Ren He jokes that it is now Tai Jun's turn for the show as the department will call him for more evidence. Knowing that he is busy, Ren He's friends celebrate Zhi Xiu's birthday on his behalf and try their best to console a sad Zhen Ai after Dai Xiu's death. Zhu Yin becomes a tour guide but wonders why no one moves into the new house near the orphanage.

Ren He's team discuss about the work to put up the presentation. Cheng Guo and Cui are arrested. Zheng Yuan pleads with Zhao for help but he turns him down, fearing implications. Upon knowing that it is Ren He's doing, he charges to see him in fury. Is this what he wants to get his way to crush Sea World? The feud is between them so why do this?Ren He loses his cool - doesn't he know how the two play in his life? Does Zheng Yuan want him to rake the past? Is he wrong to protect himself when he is nearly killed by them?

Zheng Yuan is only whining but Ren He is seriously injured. Ren He doesn't wish to see him again as he can't suppress his rage. Zheng Yuan declares that the real battle begins now. Ren He closes his eyes in anguish. Cui wants Zheng Yuan to expose all his crimes so that he can start all over again. Ren He sees Zhu Yin working as a tour guide and gets down from his car. She sees him but she ignores him. Ming Guo wants Jun Yi to kill Zong Qiu and Ren He when the deal is over. Jun Yi is hesitant to do it while Leia overhears the conversation.

Jun Yi tells the two about his past on how he works for Barkley. It beats him why he chooses this life. He never lives for himself so he envies them. It is about time that he leaves him. The bank freezes Sea World's loan and their supporters leave. Zheng Yuan refuses to give up and Ren He knows that he will not gamble with losing cards. Leia wants Ren He to play poker with her. If he wins, she will tell them something vital to their lives. If she wins, she will tell them what she wants. Both guys nearly crack up but comply with her.

During the game, she notices that he calls 'all in' very often. Ren He replies she can follow if she wants to. but she has no courage and gives up. Zong Qiu is curious to know why he is so daring and shouts upon finding that he has very rotten cards! Leia admits defeat and warns them to severe ties with Ming Guo as the funds come from the triad. He is only making use of them and she will leave the next day.

Ren He asks what she will ask if she wins. She wants a hug from him. He obeys and hugs her gently. He is sorry to give her a hard time. She will never forget him and wishes him to be happy with Zhu Yin. I feel that the two look more like a couple reluctant to part here than when Ren He is with Zhu Yin!

Xu wonders why Zhi Xi stops the plan. He is shocked like others to know the illegal funds. Zhi Xi analyse that they can take over Hanluo hotel although they give up the development rights since Ming Guo can't do business openly. Zheng Yuan is happy to obtain the rights but is dismayed to know that Ren He has not joined in the selection. Ren He doesn't regret his decision as they wake up from a dream. He assures Zong Qiu that they will not feel emptiness soon.

Ming Guo confronts them - he has lost everything. Ren He calmly decides not to stake his life as it is not worth it. When Ming Guo pulls his collar, he warns Ming Guo that he used to be a hooligan and will react badly if provoked. Ming Guo vows that if he loses, Ren He's life is over. Zheng Yuan wonders what Ren He is scheming now - is he staking everything on the next game? Ren He tells him that he is out of the game. He shouldn't be in it even with a rotten hand. How did they turn out like this? What are they fighting for?

Is Zheng Yuan his friend? The one who fought bravely against the gang and cried when he was in jail? Ren He decides he is his friend although estranged. Zheng Yuan feels guilty and sheds tears. Ren He wants him to work with Zhi Xi to win Ming Guo although he is out. Zong Qiu and Zhan Ni wants to participate in the world series poker competition in LA. Ren He declines to join so Zhan Ni urges him to see Zhu Yin.

Zong Qiu recalls when Ren He was a pit boss, he told Zong Qiu that he always gets a rotten hand but still deals with the trump card. To him, Ren He is always the trump card so he will follow his way. Both guys give each other a tight hug and he wants Ren He to be happy. Zheng Yuan asks for Zhu Yin's forgiveness. He keeps the news of Ren He's survival from her deliberately but never expects to bring both more heartache instead. She assures him that it is over and wishes him to find a good wife.

Oasis gets 70% while Sea World gets 30% of the management. Zhi Xi invites Zhu Yin to return to work but she declines. Zhu Yin is worried when Ren He doesn't reply to her calls and asks her. She is surprised to know that he quits and gives up everything. Ren He looks at the ring in the house. He trims the flowers outside and hears music. He turns around and sees Zhu Yin with the trinket. She asks if he loses something. If not, she makes a mistake. Ren He calls her - what he has left is his chest scar and the house. He will give her a room.

Can she accept it? Will she live with him? She cries and nods. He finally hugs and kisses her. Later, he stands alone outside the house. He is a gambler and once believed that the greatest temptation in life is gambling. He even gambled with his life. In all stages there are many gambles which worth staking his lives on. Fate is never on his side but he is sure that he will win this time. He has staked everything to love a person wholeheartedly.

Introduction on characters

1. Jin Ren He - Lee Byun Hun
He is unlucky in most things except gambling. He becomes a teenage gang leader involved in petty crimes. To make ends meet, he is a thief and also introduces men to patronize Zhi Xiu’s hookers. Jailed for 7 years after committing arson to avenge a friend, he drifts away from Xiu Yan and Zheng Yuan. His change in life is like a roller coaster with so many ups and downs. From rages, a prisoner, a security guard, pit boss, a triad boss's bodyguard, a businessman and back to simplicity, you will be tongue-tied with his adventures.

Byun Hun’s performance was understated. It is not just good - it is simply extraordinary. He has scaled greater heights after 'Beautiful days'. All must watch the Korean version otherwise all his efforts putting into his breathing techniques and speaking parts will be lost. He has also taken great pains to speak English fluently and the multi facets that he gives satisfies you. Showing anger, grief, despair, joy.......doesn't pose a problem to him.

In addition, he has a white wardrobe of clothes that suit him. I like the business suits that he wears as Jimmy Jin. With white coats, he looks extraordinary. Even the simple black suits that he dons as a security guard or bodyguard look stunning on him. The cuttings and designs are charming, unlike in BD some make him look so old with dull colours.

2. Min Zhu Yin -Song Hae Gyo
She meets Ren He in her younger days but grows up in a convent. She is too lively to be a nun. Being a master in English and Japanese languages, she becomes a dealer and translator at Oasis casino. She later becomes a manager in Sea World and proves to be capable. However, her love for Ren He causes much hurt and she is in low spirits most of the times. But she still has a clear mind to know who she really loves and rejects Zheng Yuan. At first, she is hesitant to accept him again as he disappoints her so many times - to fail in learning languages and to flee overseas. But after knowing the truth, she accepts him again.

She is splendid in crying scenes. Although her acting improves, she looks bored and haggard. Without make-up, she looks so pale. I prefer her in shorter hair to look more mature. The working outfits add 10 years to her age - they are so ugly looking! why can't the make-up unit buy better suits for her like for Zhi Xi? I have expected her to look frightened or uneasy when she is with the Japanese clients but she doesn't show it!

Some may think that Byun Hun and her have more of the elder brother, younger sister look but I don't feel that way. Maybe because she ties her hair into a coil so they actually look compatible. She still has a long way to go. Byun Hun shows Ren He's love affectionately but she is still not versatile enough. Still, I must complement her for her fluency in the foreign languages - she really speaks them well.

3. Cui Zheng Yuan - Ji Sung
He is a young hotelier. His father owns a cinema too. He is kind, observant, capable and also ambitious. His intention to work as a researcher consultant in Xu’s casino is to find out Xu’s weakness. He has wanted to be independent but he still has to work under his father's wing. After working for him, he starts to become despicable and ruthless like him to lose his innocence. We still can't blame him for lying to Zhu Yin because he cares for her and Ren He brings her too much agony. He is only trying to protect her. However, he still knows to give up after being unable to win her heart and admits his mistake openly.

Unlike Yong Ha who proves to be an underdog in 'Winter Sonata' right from the beginning, Ji Sung proves to be a worthy and fierce love rival here. He shines - being boyish looking adds charm and he is excellent in scheming or love scenes. The way that he expresses shock upon knowing that Ren He calls Zhu Yin is so real and his unreturned love for Zhu Yin is so pathetic. I don't regard him as a newcomer. He gives a powerful performance and doesn't show that he is evasive whenever he faces Byun Hun.

4. Xu Zhi Xi - Park Sol Mi
She looks arrogant but she is kind. To know the nature of her father’s business better, she is willing to start from scratch. She succeeds in having her sweet revenge but I feel that she deserves a man as she is nice to Zhu Yin although she wins the heart of Zheng Yuan.

She is more natural here than in 'Winter Sonata' and she looks great as a professional working woman. Her outfits look elegant on her. It is a waste when she doesn't end up with Zheng Yuan. Both are intelligent and compliment each other well. Why has the producer given up such a good opportunity????

5. Cui Tu Huan - Li De Hua
He is Zheng Yuan’s father who is ruthless, despicable and doubtful of everyone. He is the Sea World casino owner with Zheng Yuan's help. Nothing matters more to him than business. He wants to secure a business marriage by making Zheng Yuan marry Li Min. However, to protect his buiness, he is willing to suffer in prison so that Zheng Yuan can make a comeback soon.

6. Shi Feng
Ren He’s friend whom he feels to owe too much for implicating him and causing him to walk with a limp.

7. Piao Tai Jun - Cui Jun Long (the actor as Pei Ren Xiu in ‘All About Eve’)
It is unbelievable that he becomes a cop with a dark past but he still accepts bribes. But this is for a good cause to give Ren He and Shi Feng a better life. He is addicted to gambling and also loses heavily at races. But he is a true loyal friend to use his status to clear Ren He's name.

8. Liu Yong Tai - Cui Yong Jun (he is as Cui Cheng Shui in ‘All About Eve’)
He is mild mannered but also loyal to friends. He normally never shows his temper but when he knows that Zhen Ai is going to land up with the jerk, Dai Xiu, he scolds her! An outburst finally and I like that!

9. Shang Ju
Another friend of Ren He who is loyal to him. He is good in keeping secrets.

10. Liu Zong Qiu - Xu Jun Hao (the actor as Manager Wu in ‘Hotelier’)
He is an impulsive gambler who befriends Ren He in prision. I have thought of him to be his enemy in future because of his looks but he becomes his most loyal friend instead. I am completely deceived by his hostility to him initially! Both later go through thick and thin together - to work in Oasis and also to be on the run.

After his ordeal with Ren He in the U.S., he mellows down and becomes more analytical. He is also a fast learner to detect that the funds are dubious earlier than Ren He. Although he befriends Ren He later than his other friends, both are so close that they are inseparable. He is so upset when he 'dies' and he is at his bedside whenever he is sick - who doesn't get touched? And the way he presents himself during discussions, he also does a lot of homework as Ren He.

He is not just good but is also convincing. I should say that he is wonderful!He has shown that looks can't tell a person's character. He has shed his villain image in 'Hotelier' completely. Actually, I am not that surprised that he does so well in here. He also present himself well in 'Bad Friends' as a knowledgeable and loyal Xiu Yan too.

11. Jin Zhi Xiu - Lin Xian Zhi
Ren He’s uncle who wants a simple life after getting into trouble. He has no blood relations with Ren He but he considers him his son. Thus, he respects him like a father too.

12. Liu Zhen Ai - Cui Zhen Yuan
A dance club singer who has been in love with Ren He since young. Being willful because Xuan Zi and Zhi Xiu dote on her since young, she becomes bitter when Ren He only regards her as a younger sister. It is so sad that she finally realises that she loves Dai Xiu but becomes a widow on their wedding day.

13, Lin Dai Xiu
Ren He’s no.1 enemy who has a scar on his face. He tries to seek him for revenge every now and then for killing his elder brother. But his love for Zhen Ai is genuine and finally moves her with his sincerity.

14. Xu Shen Dun - Zhao Jing Huan (He is as the father of the twins in ‘Mother, sister’)
A wise man who has a business mind. He is Zhong Wen casino owner. He doesn’t give Zhi Xi special treatment and wants her to know everything by herself before he can hand his business to her. But this man is never beaten before and when he loses to Cui, he loses his wisdom to make the wrong decision to make the wrong choice. Poor Zhi Xi has to pick up the broken pieces for him when they lose the major part of Oasis shares.

15. Zhang Mei Lan
She looks stern for having high expectations but she cares for her subordinates. She spends more time training Zhu Yin as a dealer than others after discovering her language talents. She longs for retirement but is loyal to Oasis to be Zhi Xi's capable assistant.

16. Han Ying Che
He is willing to help ex-convicts to get jobs but is not trustworthy. He is a double headed snake to condemn Ren He in front of some while comment his good performance in front of others. That is why he jop-hops to Sea World when Zheng Yuan approaches him. Strangely, he sticks with him although Sea World is in dire straits.

17. Mrs Cui
She is a normal housewife who doesn’t approve of her husband’s business but heeds him as she is very traditional. However, she is frim to make her only son happy and tries to change Cui's mind about Zhu Yin.

18. Sister Mary
She is Xu’s ex-lover and disapproves his choice of opening casinos. Thus she chooses nun hood. Unlike other nuns to oppose against Zhu Yin’s decision to leave the convent, she supports her. She is very open-minded - to the extent of being a match maker!

19. Zhang Xuan Zi - Piao En Shu (as You Zhen’s mother in ‘All about Eve’)
She often nags at Zhi Xiu and Ren He but she is concerned about them. She is also protective towards Zhen Ai who is her only child. Ren He regards her as his mother and thus try to make her happy when he becomes rich.

20. Shang Tou
The underground boss who is in charge of the nightclub under Cui’s assistance. He yearns to be out of the underworld and be lawful to become a casino owner. Although he is short, he is very capable of managing his men. It is amusing to see how he slaps or punches his men despite his height. You will have to watch it for yourself. Zong Qiu is initially frightened of him because of his authority but after he suffers in the US, he is no longer timid. We can understand why Dai Xiu betrays Shang Tou because he often humuliates him.

21. Zhan Ni - Jin Tai Yuan
The only person who can trick Ren He and Zong Qiu to suffer in the U.S. But she feels guilty about it so the guys forgive her. They even bring her back to Korea after becoming close friends. Zong Qiu likes her but she likes Ren He instead. Although seh can't be with him, she still wishes him all the best.

22. Leia Luo - Yuko Fueki
She is Ming Guo's girlfriend who is sexy and wise. Ren He undergoes wine appraising training under her and she falls for him. She knows how to lure men with her pretty looks. Drop dead gorgeous and remarkable in seducing scenes although limited, Hae Gyo should learn from her.

23. Liang Cheng Guo
He is Cui's capable assistant. In order to silence all to protect the Cuis', he will not hesitate to kill anyone.

24. Secretary Sun
He is Xu’s capable assistant and accountant. Others job hop when Zhong Wen Group runs into difficulties but he doesn't.

25. Zhang Ming Guo, Michael
He first appears at Zhong Wen casino and creates havoc there. Luckily, Zheng Yuan manages to spot his weakness and defeats him. He is a professional gambler and admires Ren He's talents. He urges him to work with him. He has a hotel in Las Vegas and is interested to invest in a Korea casino. He knows that Ren He can accumulate his wealth so he trains him hard. But being despicable, he wants to get rid of him after his success.

One of the talents in playing villain and ambitious roles. After his acting in 'Mr Duke', I crave to see him again. He doesnt' disappoint me in here too.

26. Zheng Jun Yi
He is Barkley's henchman. He looks cruel but he is like an elder brother to Ren He and Zong Qiu. Knowing that both are not used to the life in the US, he trains them hard and even engages a English tutor to help them in their English. When Ren He is in a coma and is in critical condition after protecting Barkley, he lies to all that he is killed. But upon seeing Zong Qiu upset, he reveals the truth. When he returns to Korea to see both being attacked, he saves them in time.

27. Zhao Li Min
She is councilman Zhao's daughter. Her mother died when she was very young and was sent to be educated in England. She chooses building construction and is a workaholic. She dreams to own a casino hotel and takes charge of it. Being frank, she is direct to reveal her likeness towards Zheng Yuan.

28. Councilman Zhao
He is an ambitious man who will do anything to save his own skin.

Most favourite character
Ren He. At first, I dislike him for having such low self esteem to avoid meeting Zhu Yin on his return to Korea. But after knowing his health condition, I begin to feel sorry for him. He just doesn't wish to implicate her to take care of him all his life. He is a loyal and filial person who simply cares too much for others.

Most hated character
Cui for only caring for his own interests and disregarding feelings of others.

Song
Surprise - the theme song was sung by an actor who didn’t act in this serial at all. He is Park Yong Ha! The title of the song is ‘just the same as the first day’. It is a fast paced song and I like it very much. It became a hot popular ringtone too. The subtheme songs are 'who' and 'purple rain' by Yatz which are quite sad.

Interesting scenes

How the youngsters befriend each other.

Zheng Yuan meets Zhi in the U.S. It is sweet to her but it brings agony to him for reminding his past.

Zhu Yin meeting the prisoners – it is so comical that a nun attracts so many men.

Zhu Yin does so badly in gambling skills but wins to be a dealer as she is trilingual – this is surprising.

Zong Qiu welcomes Ren he in a limousine. All of us are tricked to believe that he becomes rich.

Michael Chang’s gambling in Zhongwen casino. The atmosphere is tense but his failure is unexpected. Thanks to Ren He’s observation and Zheng Yuan’s details.

Ren He and Zhu Yin are distraught to see each other that they don’t realize that a game is still going on!

The two smiling at each other through the security camera. It is so sweet - BH’s smile is irresistible!

Ren He learning gambling rules from Zhu Yin. He is so bored as he already knows all through observation.

Ren He’s promotion to pit boss. It sends a bombshell to all, including himself. But he works hard to prove his ability well on the new post.

Zhu Yin is mad with him for scoring low in languages. He steals a kiss from her to appease her.

Ren He revealing his feelings to Zhu Yin when he thinks she is drunk and promises to give her a room.

Zheng Yuan becoming more and more like Cui after being forced by circumstances.

Ren He sobs after lying to Zhu Yin that he is going for a business trip but he is escaping to U.S.

Ren He showing off his taekwando skills in many scenes. You will be impressed.

Zhu Yin gets drunk after Ren He leaves for the U.S. and Zheng Yuan takes care of her. The conflict between him and Zhi Xi becomes open to create lots of sparks – love initially but for business later.

Ren He sees Zhu Yin later when she becomes Barkley’s translator. He tries so hard to win her back.

Zheng Yuan putting a forced front upon seeing the happy couple together.

Zheng Yuan kneels beside Zhu Yin to offer her consolation over Ren He’s ‘demise’.

Ren He recovers from the coma and cries outside the church where he is supposed to marry Zhu Yin.

Zhu Yin looks for Ren He frantically in vain after the volcano presentation. Zheng Yuan is bitter over it.

Leia trying to seduce Ren He – if I am a man, I will definitely suffer from massive nose bleeding…..moreover, she has good taste to give Ren He such a wonderful wardrobe for his makeover. His dark suits, shoes and white coats bring out the charisma in him.

Ren He is unable to face Zhu Yin directly but still watches her from far secretly.

Zheng Yuan drunk when he can’t control his own destiny to get away from Cui. He looks so pitiful. He is capable but he can’t escape from him. Who doesn’t feel sorry for him when he loosens his guard when drunk?

Several scenes of Ren He in pain. I was so stupid of forgetting that he was injured before and thought he had some terminal cancerous disease, just like the normal boring predictable serials.

Zong Qiu beating Shang Tou in the toilet. This leaves you tongued-tied as we know how timid he used to be.

Zheng Yuan realizes that Ren He is his business rival. Both keep crossing each other’s path till they become hostile to have a strained relationship.

Ren He in another coma to cause worry and sadness to others. Zhu Yin finally shows her true feelings.

The guys cutting each other’s line upon hearing each other’s voices to contact Zhu Yin.

Zhu Yin decides to leave Ren He for good. She returns him the coat to run away leaves all viewrs sad. Not much said but we feel their reluctance upon seeing them in tears.

Zheng Yuan decides to give Zhu Yin up after trying so hard.

Ren He seizing Zhu Yin openly at Sea World casino after Cheng Guo threatens him with her safety. He is simply too anxious. Who will expect him to punch Zheng Yuan as he can normally control his temper?

Leia’s gamble with Ren He. She is shocked by the way he plays to give everything in.

The final result of Ren He and Zong Qiu giving up without a fight.

Interesting facts

This serial was adapted from a novel of the same name. It related the true story of a Korea American gambler, Che Min Zhu. What does ‘All In’ mean? It means that it uses everything you have as a gambling bet. But however good it is, it was banned to be shown in China as this country discourages gambling. This is said to be Byun Hun’s last serial with SBS as he wanted to clear it before going into movies.

When this serial was shown in Korea starting from Jan 15 2003, it became the serial scoring the highest viewership of 40%. The highest was 42.5%, which broke the record of ‘A joyful girl’s success.’ It is said that the beautiful scenery in Las Vegas attracted the audience. The producer used helicopters to shoot in Las Vegas casinos.

Thanks to this serial, the tourism in Jeju island also soars in popularity as tourists rush to visit it. It brings in 20 billion earnings and Jeju island authorities hope that there will be a sequel to it. The tourist ministry even had a 2003 cultural contest. 'All In' was selected as the best award in film - this is the highest honour that the television serials wish to attain!

It has a high price of US$960,000 for screening rights and all around Asia went crazy over it. Many are also interested to get the presidental suite that Byun Hun stayed in the serial. It is never empty till now. Byun Hun was involved in the script changes. Some commented that he has placed in 120% of his efforts. Many listened to him to make the script changes. The producer was too shy to relate intimate scenes so he had to come up some on his own. One example will be declaring love to Zhu Yin from the back while another would be giving her an unexpected kiss on her lips in the gym.

Byun Hun had the feeling that he was a vagrant. When they were shooting in Seoul, they had to be on the filming bus for meals and sleep. The most unbearable part was the filming studio was close to his home but he couldn’t go home! He missed his family when he didn’t return for a week. The tight schedule also caused Hae Gyo to fall ill and she had gastritis. His pasttime became collecting hats that the producer wore because he was too bored!

Byun Hun and Hae Gyo went to Korean hotels casinos and Las Vegas casinos to learn gambling. Hae Gyo also learned how to speak English and Japanese. She shed 7 kg for the role. She did it by not eating after 5.30 pm and went jogging constantly. She spoke so well that many thought that they found someone to dub her voice! Her dressing created another whirlwind for others to imitate her dressing. Her hair is still long but she ties it up to make her look like a mature woman. Some women even requested to have her lips when going for plastic surgery.

Byun Hun was not having an easy time. There were many scenes of him speaking English too. He also showed off his taekwando skills. Many female fans were attracted and thus cast their votes for him. They said his outlook, acting and also personality simply had no flaws at all. Ji Sung and Sol Mi also went for English lessons to speak with an American accent. I feel the four did very well.

It has once said that Zheng Yuan is supposed to marry Zhu Yin. Only when Ren He becomes alive and returns to Korea, she is torn between the two. There was opposition to this so the producer changed it. Byun Hun and Hae Gyo found it weird to shoot the love scenes in Les Vegas first before filming on Jeju Island. Both commented that they had to take time to forward to the 'already existing' chemistry that the characters had.

Byun Hun ran in the big valley, threw money without raising an eyebrow and has endless women or wine in the serial. This is how he spent in a month because he is the gambling king. He felt exhausted and drained in exchange for this special experience. He and the crew stayed in a 5 star hotel and the rental of the casino wasn’t cheap. The fighting scenes were also costly. SBS predicted a budget of 50 billion won to produce a movie effect for the whole production. The cost in Les Vagas alone spent them 25 billion won.

Because money is time, Byun Hun didn’t have a rest day at all. If he could have 3 to 4 hours rest, he would smile in his sleep and be satisfied. But every episode had his presence in half of it. His highest record was not sleeping for 4 days. Luckily he had a strong body and endurance this time unlike in 'Beautiful Days'. Still, as a result, he lost a lot of weight. In fact, it was so rushed that he even had to ask his mother to pack his things to pass to him to him at the airport. It was tiring but the crew smiled daily to crack jokes every now and then.

Byuh Hun’s experience in Les Vegas wasn’t a smooth one. He nearly had a car accident. A few days later, he was shooting a fighting scene in New York’s slums. Suddenly 10 over motorcyclists from the underworld demanded for protection money. As they had guns, the artistes were sent to sit in the manager’s van. SBS had known that the situation could be complicated and had 2 policemen to help them. But they got hold of the news and wanted the production unit to include their parts to act as themselves.

They suddenly changed their minds on the shooting day. Because too many people were around, the two policemen could not do anything. The unit decided to retreat. This scene was important so they returned the next day. This time it was the police which gave them the trouble. To make up for their mistake, they kept on sending helicopters to supervise the situation. They also kept on flashing lights at them, making them unable to shoot.

Byun Hun is a non-gambler in real life. As a Buddhist, he isn’t interested in gambling and he even has problems dealing with poker cards. All laughed upon seeing how clumsy this gambling king was. Once he went to a casino with Hae Gyo. He did not win anything but Hae Gyo won US$400 from the American sailors. What a surprise! Still, he went under training from Che Min Xiu (the actual character in ‘All In’) for 2 years. The latter praised him for being talented. However, he was still uninterested in the game even after the lessons.

Byun Hun has wanted to learn to be a gambler and not to learn the gambling skills. However, he still felt that his performance wasn’t very great. Some scenes were shot in the day and shown right at night. He was thus unable to perform under such a tight schedule. He didn’t mind acting on the spot but he must be in top form and had time to analyse the script. It could be so bad that for several times, he even forgot what scenes he did a few days earlier. Did he finish them in a trance? He found it strange and also absurd.

Byun Hyun and Hae Gyo became lovers after this serial. At first, both had disagreements over how to act. Byun Hun even told others that she was too headstrong and wasn’t a demure woman. Who expects him to fall in love with her? They hid the fact when they returned from Las Vegas. Many saw both holding hands in Italy when they shot a commercial together. Byun Hun finally confirmed that he wished to treat her as his last woman in his life.

He is 12 years her senior. Hae Gyo confessed that she was attracted by his acting when she watched ‘beautiful, my lady.’ This fulfilled her wish to act with her idol but the most unexpected outcome was to be his girlfriend. Many praised them for being brave to admit their relationship. Both of them used their lover identity to shoot many commercials. Can you believe that each of them earned 4 billion won? The trinkets that they gave each other in the serial became a collector’s item.

Hae Gyo was initially frightened to work with Byun Hun. It was very different with Song Seung Hun, Won Bin or Bae Yong Jun. These co-stars are quiet by nature but Byun Hun is outspoken. All guys are friendly. With Seung Hun, she knows him longer and both like to joke. Her manager even warned her to avoid Byun Hun as he was very serious. (But she still got attracted to him anyway.) Byun Hun can keep quiet the whole day when immersed into a role but he was willing to share his knowledge with her.

From the beginning, the couple only kissed lightly but from episode 13 onwards, both had to kiss intimately to show how much the characters kill each other. It is a pity that they broke up now due to character differences.

The couple’s much-hyped bed scene in one episode generated much buzz. It took 8 hours to complete to set a new record in Korean TV production. Byun Hun was experienced so it is not a problem to him but Hae Gyo was very nervous. He tried to calm her down by commenting that she had nice feet and enquired over the size of shoes that she wore. She finally relaxed to complete it.

The next day had her only placing a blanket over her body to look for the man at the lake to have a walk. At first, they had arranged to have a long kiss near the fireplace. But the producer decided a switch later. Even the place and lines were changed. This made Hae Gyo nervous and her expression was stiff. Byun Hun had to take time to rehearse with her. This gave SBS a chance to use this as a promotion gimmick.

The couple went to Taiwan to promote the serial in June 2003 when it was shown there but it was rumoured that it still didn’t improve the ratings. I wonder how true it is? The ending was a happy one of them together but the producer found it too plain to his liking. So he arranged Ren He to suffer from a deadly pneumonia illness and is on the verge on death to make sure that viewers will flow tears upon watching the scene.

Byun Hyun and Hae Gyo was not the only couple who fell in love with each other. Another pair was Ji Sung and Sol Mi. Many were surprised that they kept such a low profile. He even brought her home to meet his parents during Chinese New Year. The filming crew was overjoyed and proud to produce two pairs of lovebirds and some joked the producer should become a matchmaker instead.

How did each rate their acting? Byun Hun had wanted to give himself a C because he wasn't satisfied with his performance and could have done better but he decided on a B. (Is he a perfectionist or too humble?) He thought Chi Cheng deserves an A. As a newcomer, he projects sad scenes well when Byun Hun observed him when not filming shots with him. Chi Cheng rated himself a B - a start from getting away from his usual goody roles and Hae Gyo a B for being so close to the character in looks or nature. Hae Gyo gave herself a B as she didn't like the weak role and the dialogues didn't show the character that well. However, she thought Byun Hun should have a A because he was fabulous in every scene.

In 2003 - 39th television awards, Byun Hun won the best actor award. When he was on stage, he thanked the producer and all colleagues involved in the filming. Although Hae Gyo didn’t win the best actress award, he thought she was great too. He was also chosen as ‘the most perfect lover’ by female Korean fans.Hao Gyo won the best acting award and both were selected aong the 10 most popular artistes.

I only saw the pictures. Byun Hyun wore a white shirt with a blue jacket and scarf. Hae Gyo wore a colourful dress. The host, actress Song Yun Ah even teased them and wished Hae Gyo to be together with Byun Hyun when he won the best actor award. But she was too shy and declined.

My friend Gin and I have read the bibliography of Mr Che Min Xiu. His life had lots of ups and downs to do with gambling and chess playing. The serial had modified his past but quite close in a way.

I bought the vcds - unfortunately not the dual sound version but the Taiwan mandarin version at SGD8.00 at a 2nd hand store. The dubbing isn't good but the image is still ok. I guess probably the serious storyline doesn't go well with some so the former owner didn't hesitate to sell it.

Conclusion

I find the teenage actors acting well. The plot is packed with the usual ingredients for a blockbuster show. It takes in gambling, heroism, corporate intrigue, and romance. The pace is brisk after episode 3. However, I have no idea what gambling is all about so there are many scenes which I don't understand - especially the traditional Korean cards on how they should be played. But I have to admit that scenes on Zhi Xiu at the nightclub or any other moment slows the pace. They seem boring and unrelated and yet they are too many.

Who brings the bad luck? Ren He or Zhu Yin? I believe that it might be both. It is destiny that ties them together. After clearing the obstacles, they should not have any more problems after that.

The flaws - so many questions go unanswered. The whole world knows that Ren He is back and how can Zhu Yin not know it? I also find the ending incomplete - how can Ming Guo be only carrying out an empty threat since he hates the two guys so much? With his wide network, there should not be a problem to kill the two or find out where Ren He stays now. It never states whether Zhan Ni likes Zong Qiu finally.

And......don't Zheng Yuan and Zhi Xi deserve happiness in the end instead of slogging for their careers all the time? It is a waste not to pair them together. Can't the two just forget the past and rivalry? I hate the arrangement that they become sarcastic when they see each other.

I applaude at the unexpected outcome. It is unexpected that Ren He and Zong Qiu will give up in the end. It is an anti-climax. There are also some surprises and twists in the development. When we think that Leia is going to accept Ren He's kiss, she does the reverse. When we imagine Zong Qiu is still afraid of Shang Tou, he hits him. When we guess Zhen Ai is still making use of Dai Xiu, she loves him truly. Unfortunately, the producer is too greedy and introduces too many characters into the subplot to make it too confusing and watery.

This is truly Byun Hun's one man show. He is simply brilliant in the role and is a true winner - not only in 'All In' but also as the best actor in the television awards. The supporting cast does well but somehow, I sense a miss in focus - they are not emphasized or linked properly. This is a pity as it could have been better. But this is a must-watch serial as it is great with fascinating scenery and an attractive storyline. I recommend it to all.

Ratings :

On songs : ****

On acting : **** (Scale of 5) (I had initially wanted to lower by 1/2 because the old cast don't act that well but the young compensate for the flaw)

On story : **** (Scale of 5)

http://tv.sbs.co.kr/allin/


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